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The Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 39 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Degree MAPs page in the University Catalog or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

The BS in Natural Sciences degree with the Option in Science Education is designed for students preparing to be middle school science teachers, or seeking a career as an informal science educator in a museum or outdoor setting such as state parks, environmental camps, or nature centers. Successful completion of the program fulfills one of the requirements for admission into a single subject teaching credential program.

Those student who plan to enter the single-subject credential program should consider following a Foundational Level General Science (FLGS) cluster of courses (BIOL 151, 152, GEOS 102 300W, CHEM 111, 112, PHYS 202A, 202B) as part of the regular degree requirements. See major advisor for additional information.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Upper-Division Writing Requirement:

Writing Across the Curriculum (Executive Memorandum 17-009) is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of four Writing (W) courses, two of which are designated by the major department. See Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog for more details on the four courses.  The first of the major designated Writing (W) courses is listed below.

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisite: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement.
Advanced practice in writing and in using writing in the classroom for single- and multiple-subject credential candidates. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. This is an approved Writing Course. (003436)
This course studies American culture and the various ways in which particular cultural products reinforce, oppose, underscore, or resist the values of the dominant culture - we also explore the gaps between the explicit and the implicit in those cultural values. Our discussions of these texts sustain an ongoing conversation about the various ways science and technology drive and are driven by the movements in culture we explore. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Course. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (021236)
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement; CHEM 107 or CHEM 111; PHYS 202A or PHYS 204A or PHYS 341.
An intermediate treatment of astronomy, meteorology, and oceanography, with emphasis on climate change and its impacts. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. This is an approved Writing Course. (004137)
An examination of the philosophical issues raised by scientific inquiry. Topics include the logical empiricist view of science, perception, and discovery, scientific paradigms, and the implications of reductivism. 3 hours seminar. This is an approved Writing Course. This is an approved General Education course. (021717)

The second major-designated Writing course is the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GW) (Executive Order 665). Students must earn a C- or higher to receive GW credit. The GE Written Communication (A2) requirement must be completed before a student is permitted to register for a GW course.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Course Requirements for the Major: 69-73 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree. Additional required courses, depending upon the selected option are outlined following the major core program requirements.

Note: Student who plan to enter the single-subject credential program should consider following a FLGS cluster of courses (BIOL 151, 152, GEOS 102 300W, CHEM 111, 112, PHYS 202A, 202B).

Lower-Division Requirements: 30 units

6 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Recommend CHEM 111 or concurrent enrollment.
Introduction to biological molecules, bioenergetics, cellular structure and function, elements of molecular biology and genetics, and mechanisms of macroevolution and systematics. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001122)
Prospective teachers acquire planned, structured observations and experiences in K-12 classrooms. Placements are made in selected schools and classrooms that demonstrate exemplary practice as described in the California Standards for the Teaching Profession and represent California's diverse student population. Dialog/discussion sessions assist prospective teachers in making connections between subject matter courses, personal, social and emotional growth, and life in the K-12 schools. Prospective teachers are encouraged to begin introductory school experiences as early as possible in the subject matter program. 3 hours lecture. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (015812)
Prerequisite: GE Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning Ready.
Trigonometric functions, graphs, identities and conditional equations, logarithms, solutions of triangles, and complex numbers. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (005500)
Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. High school trigonometry and second-year high school algebra or equivalent (MATH 051 and MATH 118 at CSU, Chico).
Mechanics, properties of matter, wave motion, sound, heat. Science majors are encouraged to take PHYS 204A instead of this course. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (007394)
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of MATH 110 recommended.
Basic concepts of motion, force, energy, chemical change, and their interactions. Intended for Liberal Studies majors. 1 hour lecture, 4 hours activity. (004132)
Prerequisite: SCED141 or faculty permission.
Study of the nature and interactions of living things on the planet. Includes cell organization; diversity and physiology of plants and animals; DNA and genetics; ecology; and evolution. Intended for Liberal Studies majors or others interested in K-8 teaching. 1 hour lecture, 4 hours activity. (020915)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement, Intermediate Algebra.
A survey of the principles of chemistry, primarily for students in agriculture, industry and technology, and pre-nursing. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001826)
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)
Principles of chemistry for students in science and engineering programs. Topics include atoms, molecules and ions, reactions, stoichiometry, the periodic table, bonding, chemical energy, gases, and solution chemistry. The laboratory sequence supports the above topics including both qualitative and quantitative experiments, analysis of data, and error propagation. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001816)

2 courses selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: High school chemistry or physics is recommended; students with no previous science courses are advised to enroll in GEOS 101. No college credit for those who have passed GEOS 101.
Physical and chemical processes in the earth, including origin and identification of rocks and minerals; earth's interior; movements and major features of the earth's crust; erosion and sedimentation; geological structures; topographic maps; mineral resources. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (004069)
A descriptive study of weather processes; winds, circulations and storms; and weather impacts on life, property, crops, water availability, and air quality. Current weather briefings and California weather topics are emphasized. 3 hours lecture. (004130)
Prerequisite: GEOS 165 or SCED 343 (or equivalent).
In-depth survey of the hydrologic cycle, and soil systems. Interactions between these systems are examined through case studies. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (020723)

Upper-Division Requirements: 24 units

6 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prospective teachers examine socio-political issues of education relative to current demographics of California schools, integration of multicultural education, and promotion of social justice. Candidates identify, analyze, and minimize personal and institutional bias and explore the complexities of living and teaching in a pluralistic, multicultural society. Candidates identify barriers English Learners experience in becoming full participants in the school program and strategies for assisting students in overcoming these barriers. 3 hours lecture. (002977)
Teaching is an intellectual challenge that involves planning, facilitating, and reflecting on the process of student learning. Teacher candidates develop strategies necessary to create safe and structured learning environments and explore relationships among curriculum, instruction, assessment, and classroom climate to meet the needs of a diverse student population within a democratic society. This is a Single Subject Program course and is not applicable to a master's degree. 3 hours seminar. ABC/no credit grading. (002935)
An intensive introduction to the theory and practice of second language acquisition and teaching. 3 hours lecture. (020485)
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement, SCED 141, SCED 142.
This course engages students in inquiry into topics that span the scientific disciplines. Skills addressed include experimental design, modeling, representation, dissemination of results, and critique of peers' work. Content topics include light, color and sound, from biological, chemical and physics perspectives. 1 hour lecture, 4 hours activity. This is an approved Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. This is an approved Writing Course. (020914)
Prerequisites: SCED 141, SCED 142, or faculty permission.
Fundamental concepts in (1) the solar system and the universe, (2) the structure and composition of the solid Earth, and (3) Earth's atmosphere and water. Intended for Liberal Studies majors and students pursuing a single subject teaching credential in science. 1 hour lecture, 4 hours activity. (004144)
Prerequisites: SCED 141, SCED 142, or faculty permission.
A course designed to introduce basic principles and concepts in environmental science. Field investigations in the local environment provide a natural setting for scientific inquiry and student research on environmental processes and conditions that shape the local landscape. Intended for Liberal Studies majors and students pursuing a single subject teaching credential in science. 1 hour lecture, 4 hours activity. (020916)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: One biological sciences course.
Analysis of the evidence for evolution and the nature of the process. Darwinism, neo-Darwinism, sociobiology, conflicts and misconceptions regarding evolution, creationism, and evolution of the human body and mind are considered. 2 hours lecture, 1 hour discussion. This is an approved Writing Course. This is an approved General Education course. (021355)
Prerequisites: One biological sciences course.
Basic biological principles, including the scientific method, reproduction, development, physiology, and anatomy. The biological basis of childhood diseases, immunity, nutrition, issues of health and well-being, and the relevance of biological information in social, political, and ethical decision making regarding children. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (001151)
Prerequisites: One biological sciences course.
An examination of ecological principles and the impact of increasing population and technology upon the environment. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (001156)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement; CHEM 107 or CHEM 111; PHYS 202A or PHYS 204A or PHYS 341.
An intermediate treatment of astronomy, meteorology, and oceanography, with emphasis on climate change and its impacts. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. This is an approved Writing Course. (004137)
Prerequisites: One course from GE Pathway Foundation Physical Sciences and one course from GE Pathway Foundation Life Sciences.
Human impact on life-support systems; use of physical and ecological principles in environmental management and protection; discussion of land use and its environmental impact; and an evaluation of human influence on natural cycles. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Course. This is an approved General Education course. (021331)

Major Option Course Requirements: 15-19 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required dependent upon the option chosen. Students must select one of the following options for completion of the major course requirements.  Use the links below to jump to your chosen option.

Note: Student who plan to enter the single-subject credential program should consider following a FLGS cluster of courses (BIOL 151, 152, GEOS 102 300W, CHEM 111, 112, PHYS 202A, 202B).



Science Education Option: 15-19 units

2 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisite: Senior standing.
This course is a capstone experience for Natural Sciences Majors. In this course, students reflect on their work in the program, read and discuss the relevant literature, and synthesize their accomplishments across the sciences into a professional portfolio. In addition, students are required to present a portion of their portfolio as a departmental seminar. 2 hours seminar. (021290)
Prerequisite: SCED 490.
This course is intended for future middle school and informal science teacher educators. Students explore and analyze discipline-based education research articles and apply the principles of behavioral sciences within a science learning environment. Students demonstrate an understanding of Physical Science, Life Science, Environmental Science, and Earth and Space Science by designing and facilitating student-centered activities using energy as a cross-cutting disciplinary concept. 3 hours lecture. (021884)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: GE Foundation Areas Physical Science and Life Science.
This course melds the scientific basis of natural phenomena that become deadly hazards with the geopolitical climate that shapes culture. Explores the imbalance of energy on the Earth vs. human fallacy in misappropriation of technological advances as potential causes of geohazards. This course places the collision of science and human values on the international stage. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (004148)
Prerequisites: PHYS 202A with a grade of C- or higher.
Light, electricity, magnetism, selected topics in modern physics. Science majors are encouraged to take PHYS 204B instead of this course. Algebra and trigonometry are used. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (007395)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: BIOL 151 or faculty permission; recommend CHEM 112 or concurrent enrollment.
Introduction to evolutionary history and biological diversity, microbes and protists, invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants. Form and function of plants and animals. Ecological principles. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001123)
Prerequisites: GEOS 170; PHYS 202A or PHYS 204A.
Analysis of present and long-term global energy crises; coverage of scientific concepts needed to understand energy and its environmental interactions; in-depth examination of alternative energy sources and their environmental impact. 3 hours lecture. (004149)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Necessary background for the specific internship.
This internship course is offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register with a supervising faculty member. The internship program is designed to provide students with direct field or laboratory research experience in occupational settings. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (001228)
This course is required for all first year Learning Assistants (LAs). The course prepares students to be effective LAs by working with faculty and peers to transform undergraduate learning environments. 2 hours discussion. (021657)
Prerequisite: Junior Standing.
Students in this course facilitate the elementary grade level field trip activities for visiting K-8 students at the Gateway Science Museum to foster an appreciation and understanding of the natural world around them. 3 hours laboratory. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 1.0 units. (020964)
Prerequisites: SCED 142, SCED 342 or SCED 343.
This course requires a 1-hr seminar and 3-hours of directed internship with local environmental educators in private or public settings to gain experience teaching science in outdoor settings to children and adults of all ages. This course is for students with an interest and/or background in environmental issues who want to learn how to facilitate learning about environmental problems and solutions in a variety of outdoor settings. 1 hour seminar, 3 hours independent study. (021901)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Study of the structure of the human body, to include muscles, bones, heart, brain, ear, eye, and other systems, as well as a short look at development of the fetus. Lab work entails dissection of the cat and study of the human skeleton. 3 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (001110)
Prerequisites: CHEM 111 with a grade of C- or better.
A continuation of CHEM 111. Topics include kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, chemical thermodynamics, coordination chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The laboratory sequence supports the above topics including both qualitative and quantitative experiments, analysis of data, and error propagation. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001817)
Prerequisites: GEOS 102 or course in Biology.
Study of main groups of invertebrate fossils and their uses in biostratigraphy, paleobiogeography, and paleoecology. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (004138)

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

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